Friday, August 07, 2009

U.S. kills prominent Taliban leader

A U.S. airstrike killed Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Taliban militia in Pakistan, according to Mehsud's own aides.

One senior Mehsud aide, reached by telephone in the Orakzai Agency in northwestern Pakistan, and a local fighter from Mr. Mehsud's area both said that Mr. Mehsud had been receiving kidney treatment from a relative in his father-in-law's house in a remote village in South Waziristan when missiles fired from a remotely piloted drone struck.


The attack took place at 1 a.m. Wednesday, fighters said, while Mr. Mehsud, who was on a drip infusion, was being tended by his wife. Pakistani security officials, who had viewed American footage of the attack, said they were together in an upstairs bedroom.


American officials said Thursday that because the strike took place in a remote area where the military has no access on the ground, confirming the death could take weeks. It may never be possible to perform DNA tests because of the remoteness of the area, the officials said.


The American government made killing or capturing Mr. Mehsud one of its top priorities this year, and his death would boost President Obama's effort to weaken a resurgent Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

 I can't wait to hear from John Bolton, Dick Morris, and Sean Hannity about what a profound failure this is for the Obama administration.
And I'm sure that Rush Limbaugh will weigh in on how unsporting it was of Obama to kill Mehsud while he was receiving medical treatment, the same way he took out those sweet, teenaged Somali pirates a few months back.

If Obama personally killed Osama bin Laden and stuck his head on a pike in the White House press room, the right wingers would criticize him for making Mrs. bin Laden a widow.